Sunday, 4 August 2013

"Sorta Kinda Like Mom's" Spaghetti Sauce

Growing up, spaghetti sauce in our house was always vegetarian. Even though my brothers often asked my Mom to add in some meat, she very rarely relented and just stuck to her veggie filled recipe. Although once or twice she accidentally added way too much spice in the form of new hot sauces from New Orleans, or a loosely tightened cover dropping far too much cayenne. Those dinners were filled with tons of water and bread!

Her recipe was filled with specific veggies, spices and canned tomato sauce. It was delicious and quite labour intensive as I remember. She still makes it to this day and I look forward to enjoying it when I visit. However, in my own house, I neither have the slow cooker or all the spices and I try to avoid canned anything these days. Since we buy our produce in bulk and in season, I also find myself making variations of this sauce every time I make it. I also like to rotate my spices and herbs so that I actually use them, I've been lagging on that as of late so I have some that really need to be used up so I can have an excuse to buy new ones.

Simply put, my recipe tastes similar in many ways, but is different every time. I love variety and being resourceful with what I have in the fridge. This time around we found amazing local heirloom tomatoes for $15.00 a case, and while we tried to et them fresh, there was just too many which is exactly why I chose to make me some sauce. Going from there, I had red onion, zucchini, carrots and red peppers, and into the pot they went!

Simple comfort food at it's best, pre-made sauce just cannot hold up to this. This is also a quick prep recipe, although it takes a few hours to cook, it only requires minimal attention.




Just Like Mom's Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

- 20-35 medium Tomatoes, ripe. 
- 2 large zucchini, roughly chopped.
- 3 large red bell peppers, diced.
- 2 medium onions, diced.
- 5-6 medium carrots, sliced. 
- White and Black pepper
- Hot sauce of choice
- Herbs of choice (I used basil this time) 
- 3-5 large medjool dates, pitted.
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Core and roughly squeeze out seeds from all the tomatoes, place in blender with dates and sun-dried tomatoes if using and blend until smooth. This may have to be done in several batches, my tomatoes gave me about 5 liters after being blended. Pour into a large pot.

Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30-45 minutes, depending on what consistency you are looking to get in the end. I prefer a thicker sauce so I cook it a little longer, depending on the tomatoes that I use.

Add all the veggies and spices and stir to combine, bring back to a simmer and stir about every 10-15 minutes until the veggies are throughfully cooked. Taste to adjust seasonings. 

This makes a pretty huge batch of sauce, perfect for family's or anyone who like to have some on hand. 

Enjoy over your favorite pasta... or even over any starch. I love it with potatoes or rice! I served it over organic rice/corn penne with a dash of nutritional yeast to add that cheesy flavor. 

Have fun with this recipe, add any veggies you love. I often add mushrooms, other peppers, spinach, etc. Its a great low fat and high nutrient sauce that everyone will enjoy. It also keeps in the fridge for a while, although around here it never really lasts more than a few days! It freezes well, a perfect back up meal so make sure to make a huge batch if you like having quick and easy healthy solutions on hand. 





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